Thursday, March 29, 2012

Backyard revamp - Update 1

**Before we start, I just wanted to let you know this is going to be a multi-post update. I know I usually do one project from start to finish in one post, but since this is a MAJOR overhaul, we are going to spread it out a little bit.  ENJOY!!**

For those of you who who have seen our House Tour page, our backyard is pretty boring...
 Dead grass weeds, an old fence, and two trees who seem to have a right-side gangsta lean going on? Not really Chris's or my idea of a sexy backyard...

Here's a view from the back corner...
Seriously, the most exciting thing about this backyard is the GIGANTIC a/c unit we have near the house (I dont know why the people before us decided to install an A/C unit big enough to cool an entire business building, but it does keep our house nice and chilly... Thanks previous owners!)

Lucky for me, I married a man who, like me, can see what can be done with a blank slate (#humblebrag)

Take our sideyard for example and the redo we did on that!
Click HERE to read all about that makeover!
When we first bought the house, the backyard was actually one of the things that sold us on it.  There was SOOOO much potential and being the handy little DIYers Chris "we" are, I knew "we" could handle it.

Since the weather here in Dallas has been AWESOME lately, we knew we wanted to get a move on it before the 100 degree days were upon us.

First step?  Taking down our little, sad 6ft fence...
Especially since it didnt even match up with our new one that we installed doing our side yard.  My OCD kinda kicked in every time I looked over at it, but knowing we were going to tear it down to match up with our neighbors yard, it gave me some strength not to go all "bald Britney Spears" on it and attack it with an umbrella.
(in a Southern Drawl) "Oh hey Britney, whatcha doin' in our backyard? Knocking down our fence? Awww that is just too kind of you!  But why dont you trade me that umbrella for a sledge hammer, ok sweetie? Bless your heart"
I'm sure Britney would have been a big help, but since her agent said she isnt allowed to operate an umbrella or sledge hammer for the next 5-10 years, we had to do it on our own...

And what's more frightening than Britney wielding an umbrella? A Texan with a chainsaw...
Love you honey...
And your weekend camo pants....
If those "disappear" in the next load of laundry, I'm just going to blame the dogs...

Anyway, we pulled back our fence...

And were greeted with a red-neck Christmas...
Tarps, Chicken wire, sticks, and a couple old candy wrappers...

Seeing is how we are classier than that, they had to go...
Once everything, minus some old fencing, was removed, we got our first glimpse of the space between our yard and our neighbors fence.
Ohhh... ahhhh....scary....

But bit by bit, we worked on taking it down...


The next step was closing up the 18" gap between our two fences...
Chris secured it with a 1x4, and then set it to put up some left over fencing from our side yard project we did a while back...
Chris even let me help with the chain saw while he worked on the gap...
**disclaimer** it was hot so I took of my nice boots and jeans to put on something that I wouldnt mind getting dirty (aka. soffe shorts and some calf length socks) to show off my killer transparent pasty legs.  You're welcome.

Here is a better (yet slightly more blurry) picture of me from the waist up actual doing some work.
 After all that fun, while I was clearing away debris, I found... .... ....

THIS!
Yes, thats a worm, and yes, its over a foot long...

God knows why I picked it up, maybe because Chris thought it would make a good picture... I'm obviously enjoying it...
But apparently naked snakes worms are good for the soil, so we reburied Mr. King worm to rule over the other worms in our future garden.  God's speed, my friend.

We ended the night with the fence looking 1,000x better and the small little gap all patched up.
The next day, Chris was hard at work installing our new planter box... much like the one we made for our herb garden.
Our yard kinda slopes (yay for drainage away from the house!) but it puzzled my Mr. "Everything needs to be at a right angle" man...
But because he's so handsome smart (well, handsome too) he made brought out his saw and made some cuts to save the day...
Have I mentioned how much this man loves his saw???
Way to go hunny...

So we continued with a slight slope down the side...
And before we know it, Chris "we" were done with the planter...
After a few hours, the side of the yard was now looking like THIS...
(feel free to insert some more ohh's and ahh's if you like)

Our neighbors fence looks SOOO much better as a shared part of our yard and also made the space feel a lot bigger!

Now all we had to do was fill the planter!

First act of business, putting in a tree...
We picked up this pretty little Peach tree from Home Depot for $40 and fell in love with it since she was the only one who had started to flower...

And because she's a peach tree, and the fact that we have to name every large plant we own, (ie. Simpson, our OJ orange tree, and Liz Lemmon, our Lemon tree) we decided to name her Georgia... as in Georgia peach... She's gorgeous.

I also had to make 3 (THREE!!) trips to and from Home Depot to get the remaining plants, flowers, and soil home.
Just for good measure, I laid everything out so I could see the correct spacing before I started.
(anyone else see that plyboard way in the back against our "other" 6ft back fence? Yea, thats just so the dogs wouldnt escape until we redid the back fence.  There will be another post on that later :-)

We also wanted to give Georgia some company, so we snuggled up an pretty Azalea plant next to her to they can talk, gossip, and what not.
Besties...
By the way, I LOVE azaleas! Arent they just so pretty?!

Work it ladies...
Chris and I also decided it would be a good time to replant in our herb garden since a frost came through this past winter and wiped most of our little guys out.

So we decided on a thornless blackberry bush...
Broccoli to the left and basil to the right...
Somehow, our mint survived... I swear we probably couldnt kill it if we tried...
A little Bush Tomato plant...
(I know he looks way too small for that large wire thing, but I promise those plants grow like crazy...)

Then at the end, we planted some randoms...

From left to right: Cucumber (yumm), thyme (somehow survived the frost), okra (because deep-fried okra is pretty much the BEST thing in the WORLD), and cantaloupe (no idea why I picked cantaloupe... maybe to see if I can even attempt at keeping it alive.)
And because our larger plants get jealous, here is Simpson...
and Liz...
Both, may I say, are rocking some awesome flowers right now... the backyard corner smells SO sweet.  Just like it did growing up in Scottsdale, AZ when all the grapefruit buds used to bloom.  Best. Smell. Ever.

Anyway, everyone is planted and looking GORGEOUS!
I especially love these asiatic lilies I got for $2.50 a pop at Home Depot.
Talk about awesome color!!
So there you have it! Here is the before and afters of where we stand right now...
And from the corner...
Sorry I know they arent the best before/after pictures, but I promise when everything is said and done it will look a LOT better....

Let me know what you think! Do you like it better now that they little 6ft fence is gone? Are you surprised that I handled a foot-long worm and didnt make any dirty jokes? Surprised that B. Spears made a guest appearance?

More to come soon!!